Apple Sales Up 71% in Q4


Apple sold tons of media gadgets and posted record revenue and profit -- again.

The company said Tuesday that net profit in its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended Christmas day, rose 78% to $6 billion on sales that were up 71% to $26.7 billion.

Apple executives, though, did not address the announcement that CEO Steve Jobs has taken a medical leave of absence, leaving the day-to-day operations to COO Tim Cook.

The growth of each of Apple's core products exceeded what analysts had expected except for a slight miss for Mac computers, otherwise it was another stellar performance and the company was rewarded with a higher stock price, up $4.29 to $344.99 in after-hours trading.

"We are firing on all cylinders and we've got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year including iPhone 4 on Verizon which customers can't wait to get their hands on," Jobs said in a statement. He did not take part in a conference call with analysts to discuss financial results.

Apple sold 4.1 million Macs, up 23% from the same quarter last year and 16.2 million iPhones, up 86%. IPod sales, as expected, fell 7% to 19.5 million units and Apple sold 7.3 million iPads, a product that didn't exist a year ago.

Addressing a concern that the iPad might be cannibalizing Mac sales, Cook demured.

"If this is cannibalization, it feels pretty good," he said. "If iPad does cannibalize the PC market, we have a low share in the PC market, and so the other guys have more to lose."

He also suggested that Apple might have sold even more iPhones had there been more inventory. "We could not make enough in the quarter," he said.